Posts Tagged ‘WWE Smackdown Live’

Source: Dinner With The King

James Ellsworth’s unique look helped him go from unknown jobber to a WWE comedy act, and then he managed to carve out a niche for himself that allowed him to remain on the roster for longer than anyone would’ve initially predicted. On the latest episode of Dinner With The King, Ellsworth spoke to Jerry “The King” Lawler about his career up to this point.

Ellsworth was inserted into last year’s storyline between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. Once he was done with that, many fans expected him to fade away, but he was picked up by Carmella to become her valet of sorts. Ellsworth said it was Carmella herself who came up with the idea for the unique pairing.

“I think it was last year at the European tour in November, she came to me and said, ‘Hey, I have this idea about putting you with me whenever you’re done with the Dean Ambrose and AJ stuff comes to an end, I have this idea to pitch to them. They put you with me, you fall in love with me, and I use that to my advantage to win matches and get me to the women’s title,'” Ellsworth explained.

Ellsworth was receptive to the idea even though he hadn’t had a previous working relationship with Carmella. The idea eventually earned them a pitch meeting with Vince McMahon himself.

“I said yeah, that would be a great idea. I didn’t know her much back then,” he said. “She went to Vince, and she pitched right to Vince, and Vince loved it. It’s ten, going on eleven months that we’ve been on TV together.”

The on-screen pairing has worked well for them, as Ellsworth helped Carmella win the first-ever Women’s Money In The Bank briefcase. Carmella is poised to be a cornerstone for the future of the WWE women’s division. Ellsworth said he has enjoyed working with her and their working relationship has blossomed into a friendship outside the ring.

“We are good friends. We text all the time,” Ellsworth said. “She’s a very, very smart girl, and she’s easy to talk to. We get along great.”

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When Kevin Owens made his unlikely WWE debut he seemed poised for big things. And while he’s managed to capture most of the company’s top titles, he’s never truly broken through the glass ceiling to be viewed as one of the core elite talents.

His reign as Universal champion should have been the factor that changed all that but unfortunately, even Owens himself feels the entire six-month run with the belt ended up being a disappointment.

On the latest edition of Edge & Christian’s Podcast of Awesomeness, Owens opened up regarding his displeasure with his tenure as Universal champ.

“I thought that was it, like, alright, I’m the Universal champion. So clearly, this was just gonna solidify me as the top guy that I’ve always wanted to be, but I don’t think it really did. It didn’t turn out to be what I was hoping – like it didn’t turn out to be this thing that would make me a top guy like I felt like it would…”

The man who was 1/2 of arguably the most entertaining WWE angle in years – his friendship-turned-rivalry with Chris Jericho – was not only down on his time as champion, but also his move to SmackDown and subsequent clash with AJ Styles. What most hardcore and even casual fans alike perceived as a series of dream matches turned out underwhelming;

“You know, you [Edge] said you enjoyed the series of matches with AJ, and I’m glad you did and I’m hopeful a lot of people did as well, but I don’t know if I did. I don’t know if I can say that I did, to be honest.

KO quickly recognized that his involvement with Shane and Vince McMahon has helped him be viewed in a different light and may finally be the true main event push he’s needed since joining the main roster:

“I don’t know if I was putting out my best stuff at the time and then, you know, once that ended and I transitioned into the thing with Shane, I did feel like ‘oh man, working with Shane is a big deal’. And Vince, throwing himself into the mix, I knew – that’s as big as it gets. Not that many people get to do that with Vince, especially nowadays. If you look in the last 5 – 6 years there hasn’t been that many people who got to, you know, physically assault in the way that I did. So obviously I knew that was a big deal and I did think maybe this is what I’ve been waiting for and so far it feels like that was it. I feel like things have been taken to a new level for me since that happened and I’m gonna try to run with it as good as I can.”

In the last few weeks we’ve seen Kevin Owens getting the rub from both McMahon men as well as a shocking reunion with his former arch-rival Sami Zayn. Maybe this is finally KO’s time to ascend to the top rung of the WWE ladder.

Source: Planeta Wrestling

Natalya has been a staple of the WWE’s women’s division since 2007, and she finally had her perseverance rewarded this summer when she won the SmackDown Women’s Championship. She spoke to Planeta Wrestling prior to Hell In A Cell to discuss her career and more.

Natalya is one of the longest-tenured female wrestlers on the WWE roster. She only had one other title reign as Divas Champion in 2010. With the “Women’s Revolution” leading to an influx of female talent in recent years, it would have been easy for Natalya to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, she stayed the course and continued believing she’d one day be champion again.

“When we got the [new] women’s championships, I felt like this is part of my destiny,” she said. “I grew up in this huge, incredible wrestling family, but I’ve never ridden on my family’s coattails. I’ve always fought very hard to have everything that I have on my own, and I’d feel like it would be a huge injustice to myself, to Nattie, to not say that I was once a Women’s Champion. So for me to be Women’s Champion now, it just feels like it’s destiny, and that it was meant to be and it was part of my wrestling journey. I really feel like it’s been one of those important things that was a life lesson to me about not giving up and persevering.”

In her match against Charlotte at Hell In A Cell, Natalya retained her title via disqualification and seems to be in for a lengthy rivalry with The Queen. But that hasn’t stopped her from looking ahead to future rivalries, namely with Paige, who is rumored to be placed on the SmackDown brand upon her return.

“I can’t wait for Paige to come back,” Natalya said. “I love wrestling Paige, she’s one of my favorite opponents. But if she thinks that she’s gonna take my SmackDown Women’s Championship, she’s got another thing coming. I’m gonna be the SmackDown Women’s Champion forever. I would love to dance again with Paige in the ring, but she’s definitely not taking my championship.”

Paige hasn’t wrestled in over a year due to multiple injuries, multiple suspensions due to violations of the WWE’s wellness policy, and well-documented personal issues that included explicit photos and videos of her being leaked in addition to a domestic violence incident with her fiance Alberto Del Rio. She started training for her return at the WWE Performance Center last month.

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Chris Jericho has suggested that he may skip his WWE Hall of Fame induction.

The Fozzy front-man, who is currently on a wrestling hiatus, is quoted as saying in Aesthetic Magazine: “If it happens, I probably wouldn’t show up.”

He went on: “I don’t like these big pomp and circumstance things like retirement matches, and everybody kissing your ass telling you how great you are, because I know how great I am, so I don’t need people telling me that.”

We can probably go ahead and take out the if it happens qualifier, since Jericho – as the first-ever Undisputed Champion and a WWE employee for close to two decades – is more or less there already.

But it would be a shame if we didn’t get a Y2J acceptance speech, particularly after seeing Kurt Angle wow this year’s crowd by necking a pair of milk bottles.

Luckily, Kevin Owens’ former best friend didn’t close the door on an appearance completely, adding: “I’ll show up, maybe, depends how I feel.”

Given how much Jericho loves a surprise return, you can probably expect him to come out at the very last second (and then stand at the podium and say absolutely nothing).

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated interviewed WWE Champion Jinder Mahal ahead of Jinder’s title defense this Sunday at WWE Hell In A Cell. Below are a few highlights:

Becoming WWE Champion:

“There was originally no plan in place for me to become WWE champion. It felt like I became the number one contender out of nowhere. I call what I did forcing the results. I wasn’t happy with my position. I was putting in the work, but I wasn’t getting the results. I was going to force the result no matter what the cost.”

His panned promo on Shinsuke Nakamura last month that some perceived to be racist:

“Every day in WWE is also an opportunity. I have to rise to the occasion every time I am given that opportunity, and that includes every promo on SmackDown, too.”

Samir Singh’s nasty bump during the Punjabi Prison match in July:

“I kept watching him go higher and higher when he was fighting off Randy Orton, and when I thought he’d already went too high, he went one ring even higher. Then he hit the table real, real hard. Ultimately, they’ll tell you there is no price too high to pay for the Maharaja.”

Jinder also discussed his relationship with Bret Hart, how far he goes back with The Singh Brothers, wanting revenge on Rob Gronkowski and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: The Los Angeles Times

Charlotte spoke with The Los Angeles Times about a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Advice to people wanting to become wrestlers:

“First and foremost, go to school, go to college and get your education. Because I am living proof that it doesn’t really matter how old you are when you start. I started very late in the game and it hasn’t changed my path to success. Secondly, if it is something you are still passionate about after college, then get in contact with the WWE performance center and find out when their tryouts are. Go to a tryout and see what you need to work on. But when you do go, know it is more about showing off who you are as a person and your personality and are you coachable versus ‘Hey, I’ve got all these moves and I’m athletic!'”

Currently working as a face:

“I do miss the evil queen, but I think that my on-camera relationship with Becky is allowing the audience to see a softer side of the queen. For two years I was so intense and stern and always in the title picture. I think now the audience gets to take a breath of fresh air with me, so when I do turn into the evil queen again, they are ready for it. It’s a nice break right now for my character and for the audience.”

Working with Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Becky Lynch:

“Yes! I think part of our success is because we don’t necessarily do this to be stars. We work together as superstars to change the game for women, so we never lose touch with why we are doing this. But I am traveling the world with my best friend in a car 90% of the time. Getting lost, getting in car accidents, eating at random places in the middle of the night. So, it is that great.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

The 2016 ESPYS - Arrivals

Ric Flair and his family have been through a lot since he was hospitalized in August, but fortunately, the WWE Hall of Famer appears to be getting back to his old self.

His daughter, wrestler Charlotte Flair, opened up about her father’s health scare while on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast to promote their new book, “Second Nature,” revealing that Ric didn’t recognize her after regaining consciousness. He did, however, remember a few details from the 1980s.

“When he was first taken off the machine and the doctors wanted to have him walk around, obviously he needed help and support but he didn’t even know who I was, and he was just pushing the walker and quoting numbers of towns from shows in the ’80s,” Charlotte said, per John Canton of Uproxx. “I was like, that’s great he can quote me the numbers from a show in Chicago in the ’80s but he doesn’t know who I am?

“I would just sit there and listen to him quote the numbers and was just like this is crazy. So, he is pushing the walker with the nurses and he is pushing and pushing and then he just stops and starts strutting in the ICU. He doesn’t know who I am, isn’t really talking but just does the strut and I was just like this isn’t real.”